Artist-run contemporary art gallery

Highlights From Our 24 Year History


March & April

Strategic Planets

Watch This Space has conducted Strategic Planning to plot the trajectory of future artistic exertion for our organisation.
We explored our history and possible futures across two sessions with our Boards, members, interested parties and organisations – “Session #1: Deep Space Exploration” and “Session #2: Mission Control” facilitated by Penny Drysdale.

Alex Kelly, producer, present at Strategic Planets


● Stimulate open dialogue around perspectives in arts and culture, its particular relevance in the constellation of Alice Springs, and how they shape and impact art/collectives/orgs and vice versa.
● Generate dialogue and stimulate ideas as we orbit around the planet of Watch This Space in the solar system of Arts and Culture of Alice Springs, in the Galaxy of Art & Creativity.
● Gather ideas towards a reshape our vision for Watch This Space that will help the organisation design a realistic and sustainable model to take us into the future.

PRESENTERS: Dan Murphy (WTS Chair/Banana Lounger, Artist) // Penny Drysdale (Moderator, sometime spoken-word poet) // Pip McManus (WTS Founding Member, Artist) // Kieran Finnane (Arts writer and critic, Alice Springs News Online) // Kieren Sanderson (ASTC Arts & Cultural Policy Officer, Creative Producer) // Alex Kelly (Artist, Filmmaker, Producer) // Jimmy Cocking (ALEC Director, environmental advocate, festival producer) // Alexandra Hullah (WTS Coord, Artist, Creative Director) WTS SUPPORT Beth Sometimes // Frankie Snowdon GUESTS WTS Board. Read more.


Blue Gum Boot Artist Camp (Golden Mile)


Watch This Space has had a rich history of successful art camps. Local, interstate and international artist came together to camp for 4 days and 4 nights in Central Australia to share skills, exchange and incubate ideas. Read more

Blue Gum Boot Artist Camp

Blue Gum Boot Artist Camp

Blue Gum Boot Artist Camp

Mel Kerl from So Real, leads a session of improvised and interpretive dance for the Hour of Power at the Blue Gum Boot Artist Camp


Paintings of Country

An independent exhibition by Mervyn Rubuntja and Family.

Celebrated watercolorist of the Namatjira tradition, Mervyn Rubuntja, curated his independent show, featuring traditional works by family members alongside his unique contemporary watercolours of their homelands. Read more


2013 – Current

Travelling Artist Program

Residencies at Watch This Space for visiting artists.

Watch This Space has been providing residencies for visiting artists since 2013. Artists are invited on application to participate in our onsite community for one-month periods to develop new work. Many artists respond to the unique geographical and cultural landscape and WTS has assisted in helping build engagement opportunities with the wider Alice Springs community.

Feature: Resident Artist, Afsenah Torabi on her residency at WTS and her immersive theatre performance, The Arc of Waking. Read more

The Arc of Waking. an immersive Theatre performance by resident artist, Afsenah Torabi at the Old Alice Springs Women's Gaol, 2015

The Arc of Waking. an immersive Theatre performance by resident artist, Afsenah Torabi at the Old Alice Springs Women’s Gaol, 2015

A preview from the Arc of Waking, An immersive theatre experience at the Old Alice Springs Women’s Gaol by Afsenah Torabi, WTS artist in residence, 2015.



Ewyenper Atwatye Mural, Alice Springs

A public artwork in collaboration with Watch This Space resident Artists, Province (Al Dadak and Laura Pike), Hidden Valley Artists (Tangentyere Artists), Watch This Space with support from Red Cross Australia, 8CCC Community Radio, Lhere Athepe, IGA Eastside & Eastside Shops.

Read more

HIdden Valley Artists, Province's Al Dadak, WTS Coord Alex Hullah and Tangentyere ARtist Manager Jo Byrne pose in front of the Ewyenper Atwatye Mural, 2015

Hidden Valley Artists, Province’s Al Dadak, WTS Coord Alex Hullah and Tangentyere Artist Manager Jo Byrne pose in front of the Ewyenper Atwatye Mural, 2015

2007 – Current

From Alice to Mparntwe

Sacred Sites Cultural Tours with Doris Stuart  Kngwarreye (Apmereke – artwye for Mparntwe, Arrernte cultural custodian)

Many visitors to Central Australia are struck by the grandeur and majesty of the McDonnell Ranges and the gorges, waterholes and oases hidden amongst their folds. Over the past 150 years or so a small town has grown in the heart of the ranges, alongside Lhere Mparntwe, to accommodate the settlers and visitors to this spectacular landscape. Alice Springs has grown much in its short history but beneath the streets of this modern desert town lies a much longer story. We would like you to take another step on your journey and come with us From Alice to Mparntwe Doris Stuart Kngwarreye’s family have lived alongside the Todd River for countless generations. She is an Mparntwe-­Arrernte woman. Apmereke atweye for Mparntwe. Allow her the opportunity to introduce you to her country and take you on a journey from Alice Springs to the heart of Mparntwe. Read More…

'cultural people', artist and story-tellersfrom Alice Springs Desert Festival and Free BBQ Cash Giveaway Festival on the sacred sites tour with Doris Stuart, 2014

‘cultural people’, artist and story-tellers from Alice Springs Desert Festival and Free BBQ Cash Giveaway Festival on the sacred sites tour with Doris Stuart, 2014.


Persephone’s Dog

A special performance by Craig San Roque and friends.

From San Roque: “Performed in ceremony at Eleusis, Greece, over a period of 2000 years as part of the Mystery Festivals, this precious story is a thread in Europe’s cultural heritage. On the surface it is a drama of a mother, her daughter’s death or disappearance and return. Its origin may be from 10,000 years ago at the time of ice age impact, climate changes and the beginning of settled cultivation in the Aegean and Black Sea regions. It deals with creation events, plant and human fertility cycles, profound loss and recovery. I have recomposed the story, setting it here, in a flickering sort of way, remaining faithful to tradition – and yet we might be inventing a new form of handling lore and cultural stories. Note; This is a work in progress. You are invited to enjoy it and the picnic.” Read More

Anna Flouris (cultural Custodian), Miriam Pickard and Sia Cox perform in Craig San Roque's Persephone's Dog at the Old Ilparpa Quarry, Alice Springs.

Anna Flouris (cultural Custodian), Miriam Pickard and Sia Cox perform in Craig San Roque’s Persephone’s Dog at the Old Ilparpa Quarry, Alice Springs.


For Seuth Sake! The Slate-Cleaners.

A performance by Lofty Award Winner, Franca Barraclough at the 2014 Lofty Award Night.

The performance centres around a ritual that brings together improvised collective choreography around a ritual that ceremoniously ‘cleanses’ all the art our of the gallery to make way for the new art of the approaching year.


The Fertile Space Between Us

A special presentation Series by artist critic and writer, Kieran Finnane.

Alice Springs is often seen as a town beset by racial division and conflict, but its creative culture can tell a different story. Looking back over three decades I find an already rich history of intersection and collaboration, in work by visual artists, writers and thinkers, designers and producers. This history shows the potential of  re-imagining the future in this community. Read More

The fertile space between us

Kieran Finnane sits in the Todd River with Heavitree Gap in the background, Alice Springs, 2014.


Free BBQ Cash Giveaway: The experimental arts festival of Alice Springs with added incentive

in partnership with WTS, Elephant Island & Creative Partnerships Australia.

From Elephant Island:

“It’s hot in the desert of Central Australia and the only thing breeding faster up here than flies and germs, is talent.

We moved to Alice Springs three years ago and it has never ceased to amaze us how this tiny little town manages to maintain such a dangerous ratio of gifted artists, musicians and creative folk. People in The Centre might not show up on time, or with shoes, but when they eventually arrive, they do so with a DIY, get-involved, whole hearted approach that is truly unique and deserves to be celebrated.

FREE BBQ CASH GIVEAWAY will be that celebrating champion.

The three week festival is being hosted and developed by us – Josh Davis + Alex Hullah (we are the creative team Elephant Island – and the Alice Springs ARI (Artist Run Initiative), Watch This Space. Together this super group looks to re-activate Watch This Space into an open studio collaboration between local and interstate artists all working together to produce and exhibit new work and get the community involved. A key area of focus for this collaboration will be the creation of a Sculpture Stage inside the gallery, which will happen within the first week of the festival. The Sculpture Stage will be an experimental product of art-making and interactions and the final creation will then be used to host seven days of curated events, performances, and temporary exhibitions.

View Program here.

Find out more about FBCG here.

Free BBQ Cash Giveaway, 2014

Free BBQ Cash Giveaway, 2014


How to Draw Waterhole

A pop-up exhibition by Doni Maulistya

Doni Maulistya is a visiting artist from Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Both he and Karla Dickens, artists on exchange with Asialink Arts residency, joined us on the Blue Gumboot Artist Camp. Watch This Space worked with Doni on a presentation outcome for works he’d been ruminating on during his time in Central Australia. Read More

Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 3.32.48 PM

Photo from installation work, Art Residency is Warm by Doni Maulistya

Photo from installation work, Art Residency is Warm by Doni Maulistya


WTS Digitisation Project. A glimpse into our early history.

As part of our 21 year celebrations. WTS received a grant from The Community Benefit Fund to assist in creating a digital archive the first 7 years photographic slides from exhibitions at WTS.

Founding member, Pip McManus gave a special presentation with a selection of these slides.

From Pip McManus's slide presentation on the history of Watch This Space, 2014.

(Founding members, Jan Mackay, Angela Gee & Pip McManus). From Pip McManus’s slide presentation on the history of Watch This Space, 2014.


The Long Weekend in Alice Springs

Launch and exhibition for graphic novel by Craig San Roque and Joshua Santospirito

The Long Weekend in Alice Springs has become a cult classic and an exemplary work on intercultural complexities of Alice Springs. Read More...

The Long Weekend in Alice Springs, front cover.

The Long Weekend in Alice Springs, front cover.

The graphic novel s currently being adapted in to an animation. See below for published video works:


Artist Wants A Life

An artist camp and arts lab in Alice Springs.

ARTIST WANTS A LIFE was a camp and arts lab run by and for artists. It was open to practicing contemporary artists of any form or discipline and took place in Central Australia in April 2012.
The purpose of the lab was to create a dialogue between regional/remote artists and urban artists, examine collaboration, and create opportunities for artistic relationships to be formed across the geographic divide. Myself and collaborators were interested in devising a developmental experience for artists around the theme of communication and cultural heat. The program was designed by the provocateurs as a flexible space for experimentation.
Participating artists: Claire Wieland, Mel Henderson, Sia Cox, Patricia Hay, Kelly Lee, Jesse Cox, Lizzy Sampson, Jodie Ahrens, Skye Loneragan, Tessa Zettel.
Provocateurs: Lynda Roberts, Bek Conroy, and mentoree provocateur: Beth Sometimes.
Watch This Space project team: Robyn Frances Higgins, Alice Buscombe and Dan Murphy.
Documentation: Sweatshop Creative, Alexandra Hullah, Josh Davis, Damon Logan.
AWAL was funded by Arts NT and the Australia Council for the Arts.
Thanks to: Doris Stuart (Sacred Sites Tour), MK Turner and the Turner family, Keith and Stella Castle from Honeymoon Gap.

in the riverbed at The Artist Wants A Life Camp, Honeymoon gap, 2012, Alice Springs.

in the riverbed at The Artist Wants A Life Camp, Honeymoon gap, 2012, Alice Springs.



An exhibition exploring the wilds of Central Australia via the imagery of keepsake.

Is Central Australia just one giant souvenir? Are we all just unsuspecting characters in a surprisingly life-like theme park? Over the decades the outback has been presented as the last frontier, a place of high adventure with carefully measured risk. How have the depictions conveyed via mass manufacturing of souvenirs for the tourist market shaped the identity of the Centre since colonisation? Do these images reveal more of the psychology of White Australia than of the place itself? Are souvenirs just dated artefacts of a traveller’s journey or the glossing of more complex truths? What are we not remembering? Co-curated by Red Hot arts’ Franca Barraclough and Beth Sometimes from Watch This Space, Souvenir will be a Central Australian group show showcasing the work of over twenty local artists and one international artist.

Souvenir exhibition, Watch This Space, 2011.

Souvenir exhibition, Watch This Space, 2011.

2010 / 2012

Yeperenye Musical Caterpillar

Auspiced Project by Dan Murphy.

“They come out in all different colours, they’ve all got a different pattern on them…but they all work together, just like [custodians] want the Arrernte people, and white people and everyone who lives in Alice Springs all to work together with respect and harmony,” says Artist Dan Murphy. the giant Yeperenye featured as part of Alice Springs Desert Festival, 2010. Artist, Mat Hill, worked with Centralian Senior School students to create a percussion ensemble to accompany the moving sculpture. Read More from Dave Nixon, ABC Open…


Pmere Arntarntareme / Watching This Place

20 November 2010 – 13 February 2011 Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs, NT

A Watch This Space exhibition at Araluen arts Centre.

From arts writer, Kieran Finane’s review: “The bilingual title of this exhibition points to its framework. The non-English language is Central Arrernte. The place then is the Central Arrernte homeland, Mparntwe, on which stands the town of Alice Springs. The English, however, is not merely translation but one tongue in a two-tongued project whose primary intention is further dialogue and exchange between artists and the Arrernte custodians of Mparntwe…” Read more

Dan Murphy Shadowland 2010, found metal, 100 x 265 cm. From Pmere Arntarntareme / Watching This Place exhibition

Dan Murphy Shadowland 2010, found metal, 100 x 265 cm. From Pmere Arntarntareme / Watching This Place exhibition


Shifting Ground

Art in Public Places in Alice Springs

“21 days of Art and Performance across Alice Springs, a large-scale arts program that presented 58 local, interstate and international artists in Alice Springs. The program included visual arts, public art interventions, design, sound installations, music, spoken word, literature, performance and dance. All artworks were ‘embedded’ in and around Alice Springs across 13 venues, including empty shops, an abandoned quarry site, claypans, the Olive Pink Botanical Gardens, the Alice Springs Library book shelves, suburban laneways and the Airport baggage claim. A public program which ran concurrently that included 9 workshops and artist talks and 5 performance events, as well as 4 exhibitions in offsite spaces. Artist Talks and workshops facilitated discussions where audiences were able to engage critically with artists from varied disciplines. Their common aim was to link people to art, land and culture, responding to the arid lands on a physical, social and cultural level, telling stories of people and place and exploring sustainability and ecology.” Kieren Sanderson – Original Concept and Producer. Read More


Under Today by Dani Powell Photograph by Elad Rabinovich In the Eastside Laneways

Documentary video by David Nixon.